AG says Utah agrees to $24M Zyprexa settlement

AP News
Posted: Nov 11, 2009 3:23 PM

Utah has agreed to a $24 million settlement with Eli Lilly & Co. over claims the drugmaker engaged in off-label marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said Wednesday.

Zyprexa is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and certain types of bipolar disorder, Shurtleff said.

But he said the company's sales force illegally promoted Zyprexa for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration such as dementia, Alzheimer's, agitation and depression.

Shurtleff said a four-year investigation by his office found that there were 1,769 Medicaid patients over the age of 65 who took Zyprexa but never had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Utah was one of 13 states that filed a separate lawsuit against Lilly and did not take part in a $62 million settlement announced a year ago that involved more than 30 states, Lilly spokeswoman Marni Lemons said.

Lemons said Lilly admits no wrongdoing in connection with the Utah settlement.

"At Lilly, we think it important to put these issues behind us and return to our primary mission of providing innovative and lifesaving medicines like Zyprexa," Lemons said in a statement.

In the past two months, South Carolina agreed to a $45 million settlement with Lilly and Connecticut agreed to a $25 million settlement over Zyprexa marketing.

Lilly shares fell 19 cents to $35.06 in afternoon trading.